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The Interfaith Centre

The Interfaith Centre is a community hub on campus where inclusivity is standard, questions are always welcome, and the differences between people and cultures are explored and celebrated.

We remain committed to supporting student success and our staff and chaplains are available to assist you in person or virtually. If you need spiritual support, please contact a member of our team or email us.

Email Student Engagement

Meet the Interfaith Centre team

Our chaplains serve on a volunteer, part-time basis and represent a variety of different faith communities.

Art Kung

As a SAIT alumnus, Art enjoyed a life of adventure in the air ambulance industry — bringing help and hope to some critical scenarios over the years.

His intense career experiences stirred in him difficult questions of life and death, meaning and purpose. Art says his journey has led him through a "theology of grace" into deeper spirituality, community and conviction.

What's a chaplain?

Oooo, great question. I feel it means different things to people. Some would look to us as pastors or priests with whom they can find like-minded community and spiritual guidance. Others are looking for a safe place to ask questions and gain perspective. Essentially, I guess we’re sounding boards — people who can speak encouragement and offer perspective.

Ask me about...

Anything! I absolutely love: hockey (sports in general, but come on, I'm Canadian), coffee (fresh, hand-ground in my office or in my "second office", The Odyssey), technology (ask me about my watch), family (I'm blessed with the best wife and son in the history of the world), spirituality (meaning and purpose — for me, the answers are nestled deep in my own faith journey), food and culture, the list goes on.

What does interfaith mean to me?

To me, interfaith is about not merely tolerating different faiths or non-faith but finding ways to celebrate each other while recognizing the differences.

Contact

art.kung@sait.ca
403.542.0414
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Tim Nethercott

Before becoming ordained in the United Church of Canada, Tim had careers in book publishing, teaching English and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Tim describes himself as a "religious mongrel," since he was raised in the Evangelical church and spent a number of years in the Roman Catholic world. Like many young people, he became "allergic" to his own faith tradition in his 20s and left the Church for several years. He practiced Buddhism for two years, then finally returned to his own religious tradition.

He was formed for ministry at Queens University in the Canadian tradition of the Social Gospel, which places a high value on the struggle for social justice. Tim is a vigorous LGBTQ advocate.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain is a religious leader who works in a public institution rather than in a faith community like a church or a synagogue. Chaplains attempt to bring the spiritual wisdom of their faith tradition to the overall culture of the institution they serve and to individuals who seek them out for support.

Ask me about...

LGBTQ people and Christianity. The United Church of Canada, in which I am ordained, has been on the path of affirming sexual and gender minorities for over 30 years.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means having the humility to learn from people of other traditions. I find that one of the best ways to learn about my own faith tradition is to interact with people of other traditions.

Contact

tim.nethercott@sait.ca
403.202.0180
Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Cristino Bouvette

What's a chaplain?

I'm still figuring that out! Although I’ve been a priest for seven years and have always remained connected with university students and young adults, I’m still learning about the best way to serve people at this stage of their life on and off-campus.

Ask me about...

Food and climbing. I have a very large Italian family on my mother's side, so I basically grew up in a kitchen. In the last five years, I have discovered rock climbing and am a proud member of the Calgary Climbing Centre community.

What does interfaith mean to me?

The freedom to explore the meaning of life and who (if anyone) decided we should be here is the most enriching experience of being human. Faith traditions give us a way to consider these important topics, and when doing so side by side we learn to look and listen together.

Contact

403.463.2133
Fridays, 10 am – 2 pm
Let's connect on Facebook.

Imam Fayaz Tilly

Imam Fayaz Tilly attended the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Buffalo, New York, where he memorized the Holy Qur'an and acquired knowledge of the basic Islamic sciences. Upon becoming a Hafiz (one who has successfully memorized the Qur'an), he enrolled in the seven-year course of Islamic Sciences at Darul-Uloom.

After completing his degree (masters equivalency) in 2002, he returned to Canada to serve the Muslim community of Calgary, Alberta. Imam Fayaz is the founder and director of Tahfeez-ul-Quran, a Quranic memorization program in Calgary.

Contact

Fayaz.tilly@sait.ca
403.681.7834
Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 am – 3 pm (by appointment only)

Interfaith Centre student leaders

Our student leaders assist with the development and delivery of Interfaith Centre programming and events. We are currently hiring new student leaders for the 2022/2023 academic year. Learn more about current Interfaith Centre student leadership opportunities and to apply.

Profile photo of Adrian Oida

"My name is Adrian Oida, I am a social butterfly, pursuing the business administration program at SAIT. I was born in the Philippines, lived in BC for a couple of years, then moved to Alberta. Since then, I have been raised in Canada as a believer in Roman Catholicism.

My hobbies include listening to music, stargazing, outdoor activities, and learning new things. With the help of chaplains, I desire to develop wisdom and positive solution-based thinking as an interfaith student leader.

I strive to improve my cultural awareness, critical thinking and applied knowledge to succeed in a diverse team. Learning about the cultures around me is exciting. I feel that I can accomplish many goals when we embrace diversity to overcome the challenges we face today."

Profile photo of Basanta Dahal

"Hi! I am Basanta Dahal. I was born in Nepal, and I am currently attending SAIT College pursuing a Business Administration Diploma. My interest in Business began as a teenager when I started looking at company websites and made my first investments in the stock market and cryptocurrencies.

I enjoy being outside and I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and mountain climbing. As I am writing this bio, I am in the middle of the Grassi Lake Trail. Apart from being passionate about the outdoors, I’m also interested in leadership and cultural pursuits. I'd like to learn more about and have experience with diverse religious and cultural norms. My primary guiding principle for being a member of the Interfaith family is to experience and understand the diversity we have and to assist others, especially my colleagues and the Chaplains, with the knowledge I gain from my time in the Centre.

I am thrilled to be a part of SAIT's Interfaith Centre and hope that I will have the opportunity to learn about the cultural and religious backgrounds of my fellow students. So, whether you encounter me at an Interfaith Centre or elsewhere in the world, don't be afraid to talk to me about your experiences and cultural beliefs."

Profile photo of Jinky Potencioso

"Hello! I’m Jinky Potencioso a second-year student of Business Administration program majoring in management here at SAIT. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and I just recently moved in Calgary with my family. I am happily married and blessed with two adorable sons. I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, and taking care of my kids.

I am a Roman Catholic by religion, but I always believe that every religion and beliefs are connected and relates on our relationship to one another. It is how we respect life and the people around us.

I am delighted to join Interfaith Centre at SAIT, it gives me a chance to learn more about different religions, religious practices, and celebrations. I look forward to discovering more about life perspectives and faith and excited to have fun connecting with everyone!"

"Hi! Nice to meet you all. My name is Reetsharan Singh, and I am an international student from India and pursuing my Business Administration Diploma. I wanted to know more about business structure since my school days and found accountancy as one of the ways to know about it so I took my major in Accounting.

I am also a big fan of Anime and pass my time watching Anime or Reading Manga. I also enjoy playing basketball, listening to music, a bit of photography and some casual stuff to pass my time. I am always up for a chat if you guys ever find me in the interfaith Centre or anywhere around SAIT, or even in the city. I will be more than happy to have a talk as I can talk about for a good time on the clock. As I am writing my biography for you guys to read, I am already feeling a connection and I hope we will be connected through our dialogues or by some other way.

I have been around for almost a year now and have gotten to know a lot of people here and in the Interfaith Centre. I am ready to dive into a new chapter of my life and will be in the Interfaith Centre nearly every day of the week, so come on in, and have a talk or hang out. Don’t feel awkward or shy to ask me about my beliefs, my culture, or any other questions that come up."

What's on at the Interfaith Centre

Interfaith schedule of services

Weekly Activity Time/ Location Description
Friday Interfaith Interface 10:00 am to 11:00 am in Interfaith Centre, MB305 Interfaith interface is a safe, inclusive and inspiring activity where students from different spiritual backgrounds and diverse cultures come together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue where weekly topics reflect diverse religious calendar events and current global and local issues.
Tuesday Christian Prayer 12:00 pm 1:00 pm in Interfaith Meeting Space, MC311 All are welcome to join our Christian community in weekly prayers for our campus, city, nation and world.
Friday Jummah Prayer 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm in Interfaith Meeting Space, MC311 Prayer times vary, please check the current local calendar.
Monthly Activity Time/ Location Description
Sept 19 International Day of Peace 11:00 am to 2:00 pm in Macdonald Hall Walk SAIT's Labyrinth and share a moment of peace in celebration of the International Day of Peace. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations, and in 2001, was designated as a day of nonviolence and cease-fire. The UN invites all nations and people to honour and commemorate the day with a cessation of hostilities and to increase educationa and public awareness on issues related to peace. Come experience the Labyrinth and exchange thoughts over a cup of coffe/tea and Peace Cookies.
Oct 24 Diwali 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in Interfaith Centre, MB305 Diwali is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. Celebrated by more than a billion people across faiths, this five-day festival of lights brings prayer, feasts, fireworks and, for some, a new year. Join us in festive celebration and spread a little more light at SAIT!
Nov 9 Chillin' with the Chaplains 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in The Interfaith Centre MB305 Come for the (FREE) chili, stay for the (AWESOME) chaplains! Drop in and meet the diverse team of chaplains at SAIT's Interfaith Centre. Everyone welcome.
Dec 7 Candy Cane Christmas Concert 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in Irene Lewis Atrium Our annual concert for Christmas will have live performers, hot chocolate and of course, lots of candy canes. Come join in the festivities for the season and spread some cheer.

Interfaith interface is a safe, inclusive and inspiring activity where students from different spiritual backgrounds and diverse cultures come together to engage in thought-provoking dialogue. Sharing and learning from one another can help to enhance our sense of purpose and better understand our place in the bigger picture. We look forward to seeing you there!

Kick-start a classroom conversation about ethics, religion, diversity, cross cultural communication and more with help from one or all of our chaplains. Book a session for your class through student.engagement@sait.ca.

Our interfaith chaplains work collaboratively within SAIT to provide support for staff and students dealing with the loss of a colleague or classmate. Contact the Interfaith Centre for more information.

If you need accommodation for religious observance, complete the online request form a minimum of 10 days prior to the observance. Requests will be accommodated if they qualify. Please note: this is should not be considered time off, but rather time in lieu. Students are still responsible for the content given in missed classes and any missed lab work, exams, or other assignments. If an accommodation is granted, students will work with their instructor(s) to ensure that they still meet all course requirements.

Community spaces

Please note: All of our community spaces are currently unavailable for use or booking due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Everyone is welcome at the Interfaith Centre. We invite you to:

  • drop by the Interfaith Centre anytime for a chat — MB305, Stan Grad Centre, 9 am - 4 pm 
  • take a deep breath in our Interfaith Meditation Room — MB314, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 
  • host a group chat in our Interfaith Meeting Space — MC311, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 

Connect with us

Sign up for the Interfaith mailing list so you don't miss out on our monthly newsletter, news about events and support for SAIT's interfaith community!

Questions?

Contact us at
Student Engagement
student.engagement@sait.ca

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